"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Is pneumonia the surprising reason behind severe COVID disease?

September 25, 2023 — While we proceed to live with COVID-19Patients and doctors are learning more concerning the the explanation why infections can range from asymptomatic to very serious. Many researchers and doctors imagine that inflammation is the reason behind severe COVIDThis is since the virus has a “Cytokine storm” which may negatively affect the organs in a patient's body, including the center and lungs.

New research from Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin, nevertheless, points to bacterial pneumonia because the reason behind many severe COVID deaths. No inflammation was present in the deceased COVID patients studied. Instead, using machine learning to investigate the information, the researchers found that half of the severely ailing COVID patients who required a ventilator had bacterial pneumonia as a secondary infection. They found no evidence of cytokine storm in these patients; reasonably than dying from organ damage or organ failure resulting from COVID, they died from pneumonia.

“Seriously ill patients recovering from pneumonia had a higher chance of survival,” said Benjamin D. Singer, MDlead writer of the study, professor of pulmonary medicine and pulmonary and important care medicine at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

However, other researchers don't refute the idea of cytokine storms in COVID. Cytokines are chemicals released when an individual's immune system overreacts to an infection. Too many cytokines are toxic and could cause organ failure. In COVID-19, cytokines were regarded as released inflammation that may circulate through the body and result in death.

A new study from the CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology in Chandigarh, India, and the MM Engineering College in Ambala, India, for instance, found that controlling this inflammatory factor is important for treating COVID. Italian researchers also note that hyperinflammation definitely plays a job in severe disease progression in COVID patients.

Further recent research shows that certain bacteria can have negative consequences in COVID patients. study from the New York University Grossman School of Medicine found that bacteria from the gut can enter the blood of patients with severe COVID. “Bacteria circulating in the blood can accelerate complications in these COVID patients,” said the study's co-author Jonas Schluter, PhD from the Institute for Systems Genetics and Assistant Professor of Microbiology at NYU Grossman in New York City.

Can these results affect any patient diagnosed with COVID-19 who could also be at high risk for complications? Potentially, yes. One very essential aspect of the Northwestern study is that it underscores the importance of screening vulnerable COVID patients for pneumonia as soon as possible. The excellent news: Patients who test positive can immediately discuss with their doctor about their risk aspects and get the treatment they need to forestall severe disease.

Who is prone to severe COVID disease?

The CDC reports that anyone who will not be vaccinated is in danger for severe COVID. Other aspects include:

  • Be over 50 years old, especially over 65 years old
  • Presence of underlying medical conditions, including asthma and other respiratory diseases, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, kidney disease, liver disease, a weakened immune system and obesity.
  • To be pregnant
  • Physical inactivity
  • Being a smoker

Which symptoms of COVID are emergency warning signs?

Accordingly the CDCSymptoms of COVID, which may range from mild to severe, include:

  • Fever
  • chills
  • A cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty respiratory
  • fatigue
  • Sore muscles
  • Pain in limbs
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Sore throat
  • traffic jam
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Vomit
  • Diarrhea

The following symptoms indicate a potentially more severe or critical course of COVID-19:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Chest pain
  • Pressure on the chest
  • confusion
  • Problems waking up
  • Trouble staying awake
  • Pale, gray or bluish skin, lips or nail beds

Anyone experiencing all or any of those symptoms should call 911 immediately and explain that they've a confirmed or possible case of COVID.

How is severe COVID disease treated?

If a patient's test is positive and risk aspects are present, their doctor may prescribe one among three medications to forestall the disease from progressing: molnupiravir, Paxlovidor RemdesivirIf a patient is admitted to hospital, additional anti-inflammatory drug therapy and blood plasma therapy could also be administered.

Because patients are also being treated for other infections, it will be important to tell medical staff promptly of any recent symptoms.

What could be done to forestall severe COVID-19 disease?

Get vaccinated and booster first. “That's the best way to prevent the likelihood of severe disease,” Singer said. “It's very rare that a fully vaccinated COVID patient ends up seriously ill in the ICU.”

If a patient tests positive and their respiratory symptoms worsen, they need to ask their doctor for a pneumonia screening. Antibiotics are sometimes vital to treat a co-infection, and Schluter had an unexpected but essential piece of recommendation: Stop eating junk food immediately. “You don't want to eat junk because antibiotics and sweets don't mix,” he warns. “Sugar from your diet, when combined with antibiotics, can worsen organ damage in your body. COVID can start a forest fire in your body. Cutting back on excess sugar consumption can put out the flame.”

Most importantly, take all prescribed medications, isolate for at least 5 dayswear a high-quality N95 or KN5 mask within the presence of others and don't stress. Taking these steps implies that a patient is doing every thing right and possible to attain the least severe course of COVID-19.